Sunday, June 17, 2007

The BBC's Roneo Mentality

From today's Sunday Times:

THE BBC is institutionally biased, an official report will conclude this week. The year-long investigation, commissioned by the BBC, has found the corporation particularly partial in its treatment of single-issue politics such as climate change, poverty, race and religion.

It concludes that the bias has extended across drama, comedy and entertainment, with the corporation pandering to politically motivated celebrities and trendy causes.

Singled out is the coverage of Bob Geldof’s Live 8 concert and the Make Poverty History campaign. The report says there was no rounded debate of the issues.

The report also raises serious concerns about accompanying programmes, including a drama by the writer Richard Curtis and the finale of his Vicar of Dibley where Dawn French shows a minute-long clip of the Make Poverty History video.

The report points to the danger of BBC programmes being undermined by the liberal culture of its staff, who need to challenge their own assumptions more. “There is a tendency to ‘group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone,” says the report.

It goes on to highlight a “Roneo mentality” where staff ape each other’s common liberal values.


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